A very legitimate case can be made that there is no more frustrating fantasy football player than Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper. Just looking at his game log and fantasy points scored is enough to make you pull your hair out. The 24-year-old former No. 4 overall pick was expected to have a monster season in Jon Gruden’s offense, but that certainly hasn’t been the case.
Through five games, Cooper has totaled just 22 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown. His game logs have looked as follows:
- Week 1: one catch, nine yards
- Week 2: 10 catches, 116 yards
- Week 3: two catches, 17 yards
- Week 4: eight catches, 128 yards, one touchdown
- Week 5: one catch, ten yards
So, if we’re going off the theme from above, then Cooper should be primed for another 100-plus yard receiving performance. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly how this works, so attempting to figure out whether or not to start or sit the Raiders No. 1 wideout has become a tough task.
Key Stats and Amari Cooper’s Fantasy Outlook
I’ll break down the matchup, key stats from Cooper this season an anything else that jumps out. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.
- Seattle Seahawks vs. wide receivers in 2018: 66 receptions, 798 yards, five touchdowns (No. 17 most fantasy points per game)
- Although struggling, Cooper has seen a consistently high number of snaps – 96 percent of Raiders’ offensive plays in Week 5, per Football Outsiders
- Cooper has never faced the Seahawks during the regular season in his NFL career
Should You Start or Sit Amari Cooper?
If you have any other legitimate options at receiver to start over Cooper, I highly recommend playing it safe. There are a few reasons for concern here, even beyond his numbers. After a Week 5 game in which Derek Carr threw an interception on the goal line, it’s led to added pressure for the quarterback to play smart.
In turn, there’s very little chance we see Carr force the ball to Cooper if he’s not open. And based on the fact that Seattle’s secondary has been solid this year, I expect to see a lot of safe throws and plenty of runs from the Raiders.
Cooper was likely a high draft pick by most fantasy owners, so if you don’t have any other solid options and the waiver wire has thinned out, you’ll have to use him. I wouldn’t play him in 10-team leagues regardless, and would only use him as a flex play in 12-team leagues – but would prefer not to. Cooper will almost certainly be locked into lineups in larger leagues, though.
Source: Heavy Sports